What’s up! What’s Down!: Book by Punjabi-origin journalists launched in Singapore

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Sep 23, 2014 00:08 IST

As the new Indian government finds its feet and strives to repair the economy, one large, diverse and sold grouping of more than 25 million people spread in over 100 countries in every major region of the world is avidly watching. This is the Indian diaspora or popularly known by the anagram, PIO - people of Indian origin. Some among them are worth billions and keen to lay bare their war chests for investments in India if they are convinced that the government is serious about unleashing a fresh round of reforms in the socio-economy.

Two journalists of Punjabi origin, now based in Singapore went around for more than an year seeking views of and interviewing global experts on what needs to be done and the ways and means to unshackle the chains of India's society and economy. The result is a 224-page book put together by Gurdip Singh and Sameer C. Mohindru. Details about the book are available at the following link:-www.indianeconomybook.com

Gurdip's parents had migrated to Singapore from Gurdaspur in the 1930s. Mohindru, who was born in Bhatinda, got educated in Oak Grove, a boarding school in Jharipani near Mussoorie and is now based in Singapore.

The book "What’s up! What’s Down! Essays on Indian Socio-Economy", has for the first time brought together under a single umbrella some of the leading minds in the world of academics and business who have followed the India story closely through various trials and tribulations for decades.

The book is dedicated to the Delhi braveheart girl, who was brutally raped on December 16, 2012 in Delhi. The two journalists, who have edited the book, closely followed and reported on the tragedy while she was undergoing treatment in Singapore.

Among those who have contributed to or have been interviewed for the book are Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS Group; Ambassador Gopinath Pillai, an entreprenuer with investments in India; Dr V P Nair, a leading cardiologist; Amir Jumabhoy, a prominent businessman; Girija Pande, former chairman of Tata Consultancy Services in Singapore; Tejinder Narang, noted commodities columnist and R. Narayananmohan, chairman of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"We have already prepared a multi-year, 10-year, 15-year and 20-year view on the directions our business will take in India,” Piyush Gupta, chief executive of Singapore’s DBS Bank group is quoted as saying in the book.

If you take the long-term view of India, the opportunity is too big and too immense to ignore, stressed Gupta, underlining DBS’s commitment to the Indian market.

DBS wants to expand and build a larger network in India, he said, pointing out that the bank has been operating for over 15 years in the country.

The book looks at various issues relating to doing business and making investments in India.

This book is a useful read for anyone who needs to understand the policies and obstacles in the mega-market of 1.3 billion people which offers potential investment opportunities worth trillions of dollars. Written in an easy to read style, it makes a complex subject interesting for the commoner and those preparing for competitive examinations.

Recently the book was formally launched at the Singapore Management University, seasoned diplomat and India's High Commissioner to Singapore, Vijay Thakur Singh. She called upon people from all professions to come forward for making investments into various sectors and explore business opportunities in India.

"To the question, what's up? what's down, my answer is that everything is up," High Commissioner Singh said while addressing a large gathering of the Indian diaspora and university staff and students

Investors believe in India’s strong economic growth story, and call for more pro-business regulatory environment to accelerate development across the country,” said Mohindru, the Singapore-based journalist.

The growth story is reflected in the uptrend seen in the stock market, the firming rupee and increase in construction activity, among other positive developments, added Gurdip Singh.

"I like the term 'socio-economy', used in the title of the book as it highlights how the society and the economy are intertwined," Rahul Mukherji, head of research at Singapore-based think tank, Institute of South Asian Studies and himself an author of books on India said at a panel discussion at SMU before the new publication was unveiled.

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